Sport

Red V speed men embarrass woeful Warriors

Kalifa Faifai Loa of the Dragons makes a break.
Kalifa Faifai Loa of the Dragons makes a break. DAVID ROWLAND

WHAT now for the Warriors?

The NRL's greatest enigma is how New Zealand's only club can continually underachieve despite housing the international spine, and a host of other Kiwi stars.

The latest embarrassment came in the form of a 30-14 loss at the hands of St George Illawarra in Waikato on Friday night.

The Dragons - missing internationals Josh Dugan and Gareth Widdop - ran riot with the ball in hand and the Warriors had little answer.

The Red V speed men - led by outside backs Kalifa Fai Fai Loa, Tim Lafai, and Nene Macdonald - had a night out against the flimsy Warriors defence. Makeshift five-eighth Kurt Mann was equally impressive.

The Warriors hit the board first through milestone man Ben Matulino.

Playing his 200th NRL game and having been promoted off the bench, the big prop practically waltzed through a disoriented Dragons defence to score.

And while it took the visitors a good 20 minutes to start playing football, when they finally did it hit the home side like a fireball.

The Dragons ran in three tries in the space of 13 minutes - none better than the first, which was the handiwork of wingers Fai Fai Loa and Macdonald.

Lafai also played a hand in the stunning team try, then scored his own in the 33rd minute off some crafty ball-playing from Josh McCrone and Mann.

The Warriors looked a basket case in defence but managed to rally in attack, and rookie winger Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad crossed in the corner to make it 18-10 at the break in favour of the Dragons.

It was much of the same in the second half, as the Dragons' halves and outside backs continued to wreak havoc against an out-of-sorts Warriors defence.

Macdonald was rewarded with his own try in the 50th minute, then Taane Milne got in on the action with a meat pie to seal a superb night for the outside backs.

 

Nene Macdonald of the Dragons.
Nene Macdonald of the Dragons. DAVID ROWLAND

Nicoll-Klokstad scored his second as a consolation late in the piece but it was far too little, far too late.

If Paul Vaughan is not on Laurie Daley's teamsheet when it's made public on Monday night, there is something seriously wrong with the selection process.

The Dragons prop has been the form NSW forward of the season and continued his stellar campaign against the Warriors on Friday.

During a dismal opening 20 minutes in Waikato, Vaughan was a shining light for the visitors.

In his first stint on the paddock - which was little more than half an hour - he racked up 130 running metres.

By full time he had amassed 218 metres.

If he's not one of the Blues bookends for State of Origin, he deserves a bench spot at the very least.

You would think the international New Zealand halves pairing would dominate at club level.

You would be wrong.

The Warriors looked lost in attack and it was their No.6 and No.7 who can shoulder the blame.

While Kieran Foran has been the club's best player this season, even he looked off his game in Waikato.

And the out-of-form Shaun Johnson had another night to forget just a fortnight after the pair represented their country alongside one another in the Anzac Test.

Johnson's last-tackle options were plain bizarre at times and his kicking was atrocious, highlighted by an attempted grubber kick which hit the turf before his foot.

Neither of the Warriors halves ran the ball once in the first half. In comparison the Dragons halves had six between them.

Foran won't be at the club next year but Johnson has just signed a contract extension.

Something will have to change in their partnership if the club plans on playing finals in 2017.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  nz warriors st george illawarra dragons


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Take care on the roads today in memory of Kate

REMEMBERING KATE: Marg Henry stands by 'Kate's garden' with her daughter's childhood teddy bear.

Fatality Free Friday exists so fewer families will lose loved ones.

Why Toowoomba should take in more migrants

Toowoomba and south-west Queensland needs to take on more migrants

St George well represented

REPRESENT: St George players are doing the town proud, Beau Petfield (U13 Boys), Brad Steer (Mustangs rep co-ordinator), Reeghyn Beardmore (U16 girls), Taylor McDougall (U14 girls), Jackie Stephson (Mustangs QRL) and Lochie Pollock (U16 Boys).

Up and coming league players take the limelight

Local Partners

Adani deal: Qld Govt finally agrees on royalty scheme

STATE Cabinet has agreed on a new royalty payment scheme for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine plus others in the Surat Basin

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Big Pineapple festival safety concerns as 100s walk home

WOOMBYE'S Big Pineapple festival brought in the crowds, and the traffic.

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

Sally Skelton and Bojesse Pigram pictured after their battle performance on The Voice.

Sunshine Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!